With all the coverage of third-place hammer thrower Gwen Berry’s disrespectful national anthem stunt, you may have missed another bit of Olympic news that happened the next day: American track and field athlete Sydney McLaughlin smashed the world record in the 400-meter hurdles at 51.9 seconds.
McLaughlin isn’t just praiseworthy because she’s good. She also seems to be heading to the Olympics with all the right priorities, using the competition as a chance to glorify God and honor her country instead of a means to cheap self-ingratiating publicity.
The Dunellen, New Jersey native gets her love of track from both parents, Willie and Mary McLaughlin. After she began running at age six, she set a national high school freshman record at 14 at the USA Track and Field Junior National Championships. Two years later, 16-year-old McLaughlin earned third in the 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials, earning her a spot in the American delegation to the 2016 games